Monday, March 27, 2006

There’s Nothing More Humane Than A Spike Through The Skull (UPDATED)

I like Canada. They gave us the Cape Breton sound, Geddy, Alex and Neil, and SCTV, among other things. They also provided Americans with a good place to film a movie or TV show and have people believe it was actually shot in the US.

This time of year the Great White North ain’t so great, though.

On Saturday the normally pristine white ice of the Gulf of St. Lawrence ran red, as Canada’s annual seal hunt got underway.

Despite international outcry, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the hunts will continue, a
nd calls his country the “victim of… an international propaganda campaign.”

There are some victims in this, but they’re not of the human variety.

Harper insists the hunts are done in as humane a manner as possible. For the seals, this translates to being whacked through the head with a metal spike, being dragged by the wound across the ice and ultimately being skinned alive.

What’s Harper smoking, eh?

Seals are pretty slow and awkward outside of the water. And they have no claws or fangs, just flippers. So it’s fairly easy for a hunter to simply walk up to one as it tries to scamper away and bash its brains out with a club.

What’s the reason for this annual carnage? Well, it’s the reason behind everything – money. It’s been said the seals “eat too many fish,” taking money out of the pockets of the Canadian seafood industry.

Fish are seals’ natural diet, and I’d suggest they have as much right (more, actually) to the fish as any commercial fisherman.

Perhaps seals would be spared slaughter if they preferred their seafood grilled, and served with a lemon butter sauce?

49 comments:

Jack K. said...

Talk about propaganda - they eat too many fish. If we are all so worried about the dwindling fish population, and we should be, maybe we can come up with some recipes for seals. (tic sarcasm.) That is a terribly grisly thought.

How sporting can it be for hunters? Perhaps they need to have a greater challenge. Let's import polar bears. The bears like seals and may even develop a taste for seal hunters. And if the bears can't use fireams neither should the hunters.

Just a thought.

presidentbobo said...

Jack k. is right on.
If I notice people eating a lot of food, I should have the right to smash their skulls with a spiked club. I have to protect my share of the food. I should be able to whack a good dozen before the cops arrive (the China Buffet better bar the door).
Isn't this the same argument farmers and hunters use everywhere - the crows are eating all the corn, the mountain lions are eating all the sheep, the wolves are eating all the red-cloaked virgins...
So you get to kill whatever makes it harder for you to earn a living?
World - I am puttin' you on notice. All y'all mofos better clear out 'cause y'all are interfering with my making a living. Lead is fixin' to fly!

Pete Bogs said...

the "too many fish" rationale was something I actually heard on NPR a few years back... at that time I wrote to Ottawa and told them how very ridiculous that was... they didn't respond, of course!

killing seals is just slightly more difficult than shooting fish in a barrel...

native said...

president bobo,

you just got my vote.

Mr Q said...

What a load of crap, and very sad for these creatures. I have no problem with hunting for food, but never support the "sport" of; and this qualifies as neither, it is hideous.
PB, absolutely right.
Why doesn't the canadian grossvernment invest some time and effort dealing with cockraoches? or our own leaders taking a grain of sand from the war for the same solution and thousands of others that need attention? Same reason. We all are seals.

native said...

imagine the great yellow lab puppy spiking day. the outcry would be deafening (i hope)
i don't know why this still happens, i thought it was about harvesting fur not protecting fishing waters, whatever the reason it is too too sad.

BTW i agree with on on RUSH. i have proven it over at rotating chaos.

Pete Bogs said...

they do harvest the hides (but apparently not the meat, judging by the photos) of the seals and sell them for profit... however, the "eating too many fish/harming the seafood industry" excuse is also part of the story... for some it "justifies" the slaughter a bit more than if it were just for skinning seals for profit... in other words, "the seals are forcing our hand..."

Pete Bogs said...

from the HSUS:

"Some Canadian fishing industry representatives have also attempted to claim that seals eat too many cod and adversely impact the fish population, even though sound scientific studies show that the true cause of cod depletion is overfishing."

more info at these links:

http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/protect_seals_-_boycott_canadian_seafood.html

http://www.fisherycrisis.com/seals/noharpsealhunt.htm

native said...

'the seals are forcing our hands" that's good, bogs.

Karen said...

I do love my Canadian neighbors and know they don't all have a hand in this, but I find this killing of the baby seals despicable! :(

Pete Bogs said...

in the past I've heard about activists spray painting seals to make their fur/hides worthless... I believe only the younger seals have fur, and killing them is banned... when they grow to a smooth coat they are open game... I wonder if they can still be painted then?

there are activists out in boats trying to block the hunts at the time of this writing... I think they ought to go around with airhorns and scare the seals off the ice, where they are sitting ducks... they're not so easy to kill in the water... they can swim fast and deep...

Jack K. said...

You would think that the seals who are forcing our hands would begin to realize the error of their ways.

Perhaps there my some sort of seal intra-cultural battle going on. They get the target seals to go to the killing fields with some promise of all the fish you can eat.

Pres b, you give me one more reason to eat at home. The only way I want to go out for a meal is to know where the hell you are and either walk in with you or an hour later. You could probably use someone to watch your back. lol

Pete, thanks for the post.

Moon Watcher had this post last week about the seal hunt, too. Y'all might want to check it out. She is a young Canadian woman who has beautiful, caring soul.

Pete Bogs said...

jack - I just read her post about the hunts, thanks... she is otherwise caring, but not when it comes to the seal hunts...

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Look, people have been hunting seals for hundreds of years, and they're still around.

There are only so many fish out there, and people have to eat. Quotas were put into place many years ago to control the overfishing of our cod stocks, however, only our fishermen are bound by it, it has no legal bearing on the Spainards or Portugese who come across the pond to poach in our waters. The controlled seal hunt helps to keep the cod population up. No, the seals are not eaitng too many fish, but the seals & the humans combined is draining on the cod population. When the seal hunt is taking place, it is supplementing the income of those fishermen, which means that they can both decrease the amount of fish they take out of they water AND when they're killing seals, they're not fishing. Let us manage our own natural resources, you go make up reasons to invade your "enemies".

Ever seen where your breakfast comes from? It's not pretty.

Ok, rant done.

Karen said...

heathen~ I question the methods used for the kill. If it must be done, it should be done responsibly and not barbarically with clubs.

fatty ~ said...

having spent much time with antarctic seals, i know they are quite complacent and undefended on land. [except elephant seals]
these are protected internationally, and thats how it should be.

i shed a tear for those in the arctic =[

Pete Bogs said...

flab - sadly, seals don't understand quotas, so they have been breaking them for years...

as for the supplemental income, I'm not so sad for the fisherman... no more than I am for tobacco companies being hurt by growing restrictions on smoking or by declining numbers of smokers... the "it makes you money" argument only works if the worker is doing something moral, as far as I'm concerned... my feeling is: get out of the dirty business and find another job... your reference to seals as "resources" means we still have a long way to go...

and your reference to Iraq is misplaced; by reading my blog alone you can tell that many Americans are opposed to our own foreign policies... also, I'm not speaking for my country here, but for me... you won't hear Mr. Bush criticizing Mr. Harper about this, as they're both conservatives who give a rat's ass about animals... if seal hunts were going on here, you can bet Bush wouldn't stop them, and you could bet I'd be just as vocal against them... let's not give this argument a - no pun intended - provincial tone...

Pete Bogs said...

ps - I had a raisin bagel for breakfast today... that comes from fields of grain and orchards...

ChasingMoksha said...

This is too sad for words. It just does not make sense. Nothing but ego here. "Look at me, look at me, I got the biggest dick in the land because I can kill a seal."

Sigh.

Jack K. said...

Oatmeal is my favorite breakfast. Put a little cinnamon, honey, and walnuts with it and you have one very, healthy breakfast.

Ben said...

@Karen.

The reason for not - say - shooting them down (if necessary at all)?

Holes in the fur, far as I know.

Lessens the value.

So much for eating too many fish.

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Karen - A good amount of the seals are being shot this year...the warm temperatures make it unsafe to go clubbing them.

Bogs - My reference to Iraq was intended to be a broad one. The equivilant of "Mind your own bloody business."

Personally, I'm not too fond of the seal hunt, but I don't think it's the horrible crime most hink it to be. There are a lot of seals, and the government limits the amount that can be killed. The seals ARE resources, and as such, the number that we take has to be managed rather carefully in order to make sure we have that resource twenty years down the road.

The same with goes with logging. Going to clear cut a forest is a bad idea.

Fishing is a moral trade, and one which provides thousands with food. However, because of our (humans) history of over fishing, the fishermen simply cannot make a decent living on fish alone. It's either sap money from the welfare system (and the people who really need it) or hunt seals. I admire them for working as opposed to sitting on their collective ass.

I have the same view of Canadian seal hunters as I do of Afghani poppy growers. Don't punish the man for trying to feed his family, punish those who are demanding the illegal (or immoral) products they produce.

Pete Bogs said...

I don't want to punish a man for feeding his family, I want him to chose his profession a little more wisely... whether it's tobacco or seal skins, it's dirty business... using your rationale, anything one does to make money is ok... I don't think anyone would agree with that, not even you... in my view, prostitution is a more noble profession (though I'm sure the market for male prostitutes isn't huge), because at least there both parties are consenting...

Sam Kinison said we shouldn't send aid to Africa, we should send U-Hauls... it's a big desert... we have deserts too, but we don't live in them... if there's no other industry left in the frigid zones, perhaps it's time to move somewhere else...

I read a comment about this topic on another blog... they suggested turning that hunting industry into a tourist one... make those sealing ships into touring ships... then you still have jobs, because sure enough people like me will come there and pay money go on a seal-watching jaunt... there's a cottage industry for dolphin watching tours here in Florida...

take that one to Ottawa, and while you're there ask Harper how exactly the slaughter methods are humane...

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

I'm not about to ask any man to leave his home.

Hunting is hardly a dirty business. People have hunted for thousands of years. Quite simply, these people ARE hunting to feed themselves. Though I do agree, if you're gonna off that seal, the least you can do it take the meat. For that matter, tobacco isn't a dirty business either. It was in the past, I'll admit, but now? Hardly. There's not a smoker I know that is unaware of the dangers of tobacco use. Damn near all of them know too that it's cheaper to quit than to smoke. If they're stupid enough to smoke, it's their own damn fault. No tobacco company got me hooked on smoking. And I did quit for a period of years. When I smoke, it's my own stupidity. Yes, these people are selling poison...but they're not forcing it into people's lungs.

You'll never find enough people willing to go on a seal watching expedition that would compensarte for the loss of income. Unless you charge them an insane amount of money. In which case, the people who WOULD come, would no longer be able to afford it. You see these Hollywood types coming to protest the seal hunt...if they want to end the hunt, take some of their hard earned money and give tit to the hunters...or invest in the local communities. Hell, I'll full of ideas today!

Bird said...

Here! Here! Flabby!

Though I am on the seals's side and though in general I think environmental issues are global ones, and though I think your logic is off a bit (people have been hunting seals for hundreds of years and they're still around - think about that - there's lots of animals we've hunted for hundreds of years that are dwindling and we are quite capable, without some checks, of wiping out animal populations pretty darn fast) - nonetheless - I had to laugh at your point - let Canada manage its
natural resources whilst weinvade our enemies.

but be careful up there - what if we take it into our heads that you are the enemy. got any WMD rolling around up there? hmmm - maybe we could attack you for your socialized medicine and cheap prescription drugs - yeah!

Pete Bogs said...

a great many Hollywood stars (Cruise, Carrey, etc.) are from Canada... maybe they can help out...

you know who's missing from this discussion is hellpig... he's a commercial crabber...

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

bird - WMD's? I think I have some anthrax growing in my fridge. Maybe some good ole fashioned ebola as well. My smoke alarm is radioactive, and I do own a bottle of bleach. I'm three for three! Come on up (dress warmly)!

Bogs - I'm just waiting for a picture of a smiling Jim Carrey clubbing a seal on the head to hit the tabloids.

Pete Bogs said...

nah, Ace Ventura - Pet Detective would never do that... as I recall, he thwarted a Scandavian whaling vessel in one of those movie...

"Captain, there be whales here!"

Jack K. said...

Can we consider the spikes WMD's? There seems to be mass destruction of the seals.

ffff said...

oh oh. Every year and the quota is up this year. It should be down... down..and falling. Clubbing is so there is no hole in the pelt for those stupid people to wear animal fur.
Canada also gave us Leonard Cohen and kd lang and the inuit nation.
The Inuits should be given right of control over all this.
Faze it out as soon as possible.
Oh oh..

Bird said...

Alison - don't think that the Inuit kill seals in a more humane way. Is that what's behind your comment? Or am i misinterpreting?

several years ago there was quite a controversy over a northern-pacific native american tribe that petitioned to restore their hunting rights for whales off the state of washington's coast. the tribe wanted to reinstitute the hunt not for food purposes, but for ritual and to reclaim a rite of passage for their young men. their method of killing the whales was not humane - though it ws traditional. i believe they were denied the right - due to the dwindling populaton of whales.

man, i wish i could get to sleep. a horrible case of insomnia is coming on here - hmmm....well, off to fly through some other blogs...

fatty ~ said...

australia is the only country in the world to legally cull an animal on their international crest.

kangaroos are often seen as pests and need to be culled to prevent them severely damaging crops...

and we have to do something about the wild camel population...

Jack K. said...

How do you feel about the concept that whales and dolphins are ensouled beings just like humans?

Pete Bogs said...

I don't know about the soul in general... I do know that whales and dolphins are extremely intelligent creatures, and are certainly no risk to mankind... I wish Japan would stop this BS about whaling for "research" purposes, then whale steaks show up in Japanese supermarkets... maybe Canada could try this subterfuge - hunting seals for research purposes...

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Maybe I'm naive, but maybe they are actually killing them for research purposes, and then not letting the meat go to waste.

Pete Bogs said...

you are naive, in this instance... when they could no longer hunt them in the conventional way, they turned to this "research" subterfuge... the timing's just too convenient and suspicious...

ffff said...

No, bird I don't think the Inuit kill in a more humane way, I just believe that native people's have a right to their cultural mores and if we left it in their hands then maybe the mass slaughter would not be necessary.

Pete Bogs said...

the Inuits spear and skin like anyone else... they are actually killing for their dinner, though... I'm not a carnivore, but understand that in some places there's nothing else to eat...

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

What's the difference between the Inuit killing the seal and eating it, and me killing the seal and selling the pelt to buy Hungry Man dinners?

They can't grow potatoes, I've always lived the life of a fisherman.

Same deal really.

infinitesimal said...

Shit,

Humans are among my least favorite animals.

Zya said...

Wow, I had no idea about this... how depressing :(

Pete Bogs said...

flab - I can't answer your question directly, but there seems to be a difference in killing an animal you are going to feed your family with that day, and creating an INDUSTRY whereby you kill animals, sell them for parts and then get a paycheck for it... perhaps I am hypocritical about this...

zya and infini - welcome back!

warvigilent said...

i dont thinks anyones still reading these but.

from what ive heard that the seal hunt is actually becoming nessesary, as someone pointed out the overfishing of humans (including the international poaching) and the rapid increase in seal poplulation due to lack of preadator attrition. seals like all mammals breath air and to get air in the frozen north they need a hole in the ice, sufficced to say in the winter months air holes become rare and seals have to congregate near them.there they are more vulnerable to preadators, polar bears, killer whales. but due to increasing global warming the ice breaks up sooner and forms later or not at all in some areas. with more air holes seals are less vulnerable to preadators especially polar bears who cant catch them without the advantage at the holes. the young especially benifit from this since they are normally the most vulnerable and targeted and thus have a high natural death rate reducing the poplulation.

Bonnie Parker said...

Hey... I feel like I've arrived at the end of the party... but I can't leave without saying I hate those who hunt for their simple pleasure - they defenitly shouldn't be allowed to call themselves humans... And seals or whales, or any wild animal... if there is today any lack of balance in our environment, sure its not their fault, but ours... how about stop killing and start watching... maybe nature will prevail again.

Pete Bogs said...

thanks all for your comments... this post got more attention than any other I've written...

ardlair said...

I read recently that some researchers were working on a new cure for cancer.
it is a chemical produced in the brains of baby seals only in the moments just before they are about to be clubbed to death.

now that would give us a problem....................

bonnie_parker said...

I dont't think FEAR is already considered a cure for cancer, because if it is, I think we would't have to kill seals, do we? The simple fear of cancer would cure us... and that was a masterpiece of poetic justice.

mad malva blue said...

perhaps you all need to get your facts straight. the killing of white furs (ie babies) happens to be illegal. pehaps if you actually made an effort to learn about this you would sound more informed and intelligent.

as for the 'carnage' of it all. how hypocrtical. have you been to a slaughter house? do you know how they slaughter all that steak, bacon, ham and veal cutlet? well here's a lesson for you meat lovers out there who think the seal hunt is carnage.

pigs are electrically shocked on their heads and cattle are stunned by a blow to the head with a bolt gun, the throat is slit, and they get hung up by their hind legs to bleed out. the blood that they bleed out is used to make sausage!

and this is what happens on EVERY kill floor ...

so - think about that, all you outraged animal lovers ... next time you bite into that juicy steak or burger. We are no better that the seal hunter and that's that f*cking truth!

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